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The number of people seeking cosmetic surgery overseas is increasing with over 60,000 UK patients travelling abroad for treatment every year.

These numbers are likely to continue increasing due to a combination of factors such as budget flights, lower prices for treatment and the opportunity to recuperate in private.

Patients must however weigh the potential financial savings against the risks involved.

The BAAPS (The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) have expressed concern about patients undergoing cosmetic surgery abroad. Whilst all surgery carries a risk standards and guidelines are not as strict abroad and so the risk of undergoing surgery in a foreign clinic can be significantly higher than in the UK.

If complications do arise following surgery abroad it can be difficult to seek essential aftercare as some overseas clinics do not have representatives in the UK who can provide aftercare.

Whilst patients who require emergency aftercare upon returning to the UK can be treated by the NHS, if corrective cosmetic work is required the patient would usually have to pay for this to be carried out privately in the UK.

One London based cosmetic surgeon stated that he had seen patients travel directly from the airport to the A&E.

Patients are therefore warned to check the following:

  1. Do the surgeon and staff within the clinic speak English?
  2. What qualifications does the surgeon have?
  3. Will follow up treatment be provided?
  4. Is the surgeon and clinic insured?
  5. Will the surgeon rectify any problems that may occur?

It is worth taking the time to do your homework so that the bargain treatment does not turn into a costly nightmare.